Story Go Round 02/08/2002, round 3, #5


The flames leapt higher still. Now the old growth began to catch out past Hermit's Peak. From the sky, it looked like a river of lava flowing down the mountain. Breath-taking. And chilling. And mesmerizing. Skeet felt like a moth, unable to resist the lure of the flickering red and orange tongues as they licked the trees. She tried to ignore it, but despite her will she began to scuffle slowly towards the conflagration, her leg aching with the warning of memory. How did the body give up its mission, just forget? Skeet was made to quench things, since the first electrical fire in preschool. People called themselves lucky to have Skeet around, and when she wanted to feel wanted, sometimes a mysterious brush fire might start up one quiet afternoon, and Skeet would be there to put it out. But not this time - the fire had started from a lightning strike and had only been spotted an hour ago. Already half the hillside was torched, the arid brush providing perfect kindling. She had to go, there was no other way. It wasn't just the training; it was instinct.

Instinct the gods put there, she'd come to believe, and she wondered at the lightning. She took issue with Zeus, with Thor, Agui ... though she sensed it was a losing battle. If they stopped starting fires, she'd stop having fires to put out, and then her glands of enormous capacity would have no purpose.

'No purpose', echoed in her head. After this fire was put out and tomorrow's and tomorrow's, what would she have? It was unending, and unbearable and she would end it now.

Amber is purple; John is pink; Alan is blue; Terry is orange; Habeeb is green